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Zoic Nears 2nd Anniversary With Major Expansion

Adding new talent, technology and studio space (June 18, 2004)

Responding to industry growth and an increasing number of projects, leading visual effects company Zoic Studios has just completed a major expansion, adding new talent, technology and studio space.

Zoics current slate in Feature Film includes Joss Whedons Serenity for Universal and Deuce Bigalow 2: European Gigolo for Sony Pictures. They continue in episodic television with ?CSI: Miami, and ?Battlestar Galactica, while continuing a steady growth in the commercial and game markets.

In the last six months Zoic has contributed to Van Helsing, Spider-Man 2, and The Day After Tomorrow, while completing Pilots for FOX, NBC, Universal, the WB, and Paramount. In advertising, they have completed spots for KIA, Chevy, SBC, and the notorious, new web-based Mini-Cooper project in a creative partnership with Crispin, Porter, and Bogusky.

Working in all areas of entertainment necessitates a massive pipeline and sparked this major expansion.

?It has always been our goal to use diverse business practice to perpetuate growth, says Zoic Creative Director Loni Peristere. ?Having an equally focused yet diverse market base allows the creative at our center to feed the branches with innovative and fresh ideas, which has led to often outstanding work from our talent base. The diversity also allows us to take risks in one area geared toward development, while implementing the fruits of those risks in all areas. The Mini-Cooper campaign is a prime example.

Talent is at the heart of Zoics success and the recent additions complement the companys current team of multitalented artists and producers. Zoics new hires include Visual Effects Supervisor Randy Goux, Visual Effects Producer Les Hunter, and Digital Artist Mandy Sorenson.

Randy Goux is Visual Effects Supervisor at Zoic Studios for the Universal Studios feature film Serenity. Prior to joining Zoic Studios, Randy was Digital Effects Supervisor for the forthcoming Warner Bros. film, Constantine, at ESC Entertainment and for The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. In 2000, work took him to Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand, where he was 3D Sequence Lead for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring overseeing, among other things, the award-winning Cave Troll sequence. Randys previous credits include X-Men for POP Film, where he also contributed to the episodic TV shows ?Angel and ?Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Previously, Randy joined Kleiser-Walczak Visual Effects in 1996 where his credits include the Universal Studios ride film, ?The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and the film Game Day. He got his start in visual effects at WGBH-TV in Boston where he was a designer for national PBS programming.

A veteran of computer animation and effects for the last 13 years, Les Hunter has most recently served as Visual Effects Producer on The Rundown, starring Dwayne ?The Rock Johnson and Seann William Scott, for Universal Pictures. Prior to that project, Hunter worked with Centropolis Effects on Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions for Warner Bros.

For approximately 11 years, Hunter produced for Pacific Data Images, now known as PDI/Dreamworks. Leading more than 80 projects there including feature films, commercials and broadcast animations, Hunter worked with some of the pioneers in computer animation and top directors in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg (Minority Report, A.I.) and Robert Redford (The Legend of Bagger Vance). Some of his other feature credits include Mission: Impossible II, Forces of Nature, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, and The Peacemaker.

Throughout his first years at PDI, Hunter produced commercial effects and broadcast graphics for an international client roster including Gatorade, Coca-Cola (Japan), Pillsbury, Reebok, ESPN, HBO, NBC, CBS, and Showtime. He worked on the launch of TNT and the re-design of VH1 and ABC Sports logos. His introduction to the world of computer graphics was while working with Scott Miller & Associates on the Emmy-winning ABC Monday Night Football graphics package.

Digital Artist Mandy Sorenson came up the visual effects ranks with many of the artists at Zoic and was excited to join the company when the opportunity arose, citing the companys high-energy, team-focused environment as an influencing factor. Prior to joining Zoic, Sorenson was a digital artist at Encore where she contributed to such high-profile shows as ?Six Feet Under, ?Charmed, ?Roswell, and ?Ally McBeal.

Sorenson made her foray into the Hollywood community at 525 where she worked on hundreds of commercials and music videos from 1995-2001, including clips for music artists Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Bush and Christina Aguilera.

Sorenson is a graduate of the department of radio, television and film at the University of Texas at Austin.

Zoic has recently completed its new build-out, located adjacent to its current space and will allow capacity to increase by 30 people, bringing the total to 75 CG workstations. The company has also begun implementation of its new network backbone utilizing the new 10Gigabit Fiber switches from Extreme networks, which will allow full Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop workstation.

With the advent of more bandwidth intensive applications, this will reduce much of the burden artists have experienced when working with Film and HD resolution materials in the past. In addition to 75 CG seats, Zoic has four HD Flame Bays, one Avid and a Panasonic D5 deck. Zoic works with such technology partners as Discreet, Newtek, Alias and Isilon Storage Systems.

?As we grow, it is important that we follow through on our commitment to partnership on all levels, concludes Peristere. ?From talent to technology, we are determined to solidify and expand our creative and professional relationships both inside and outside of our business. As a testament to this you will begin to see Zoics name alongside others more and more frequently as a partner in what is perhaps the most exciting time for the evolution of digital entertainment.

Winner of numerous VES awards, Zoic was recently presented with an achievement award at the 3D Awards for its work in television visual effects on Battlestar Galactica.

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Related Keywords:Zoic, Zoic Studios, Loni Peristere, Randy Goux, Les Hunter, Mandy Sorenson, Extreme networks, HD Flame Bays, Avid, Panasonic D5,


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